Are Government’s continuous? Do persons responsible for the planning of what government’s do, think ahead, or past their own noses? The current state affairs would give us an answer of no, on both questions. The Bahamian public is puzzled about how this particular administration goes about the business of governance. The previous administration may have had its issues, but the line they took was known to all and they made no excuses for what had to be done; however painful.
I am particularly interested in the plans to take back BTC and the impact it is going to have on the atmosphere we will be going into after April 2014 when our communications market opens fully. The first two questions come into play when you think of what is going to be reality. Does it make any sense that Government wants to BTC back, when they will not be able to participate in that market as a competitor? Is this something that those negotiating for the government have taken into consideration? Is there an action plan for BTC after April 2014? I also wonder if the past administration had a performance clause in the contract they negotiated with LIME?
Maybe this government is thinking, maybe it is not. However, it may not really matter if they are not prepared to see things as they really are and make the hard choices that governments are the responsibility of government. Here is a list of peeves, I want to put out there.
- You cannot build a 50 million Parliamentary Complex when all you do in the current one is slam on tables and behave like school boys. We do not need a new venue for that.
- A government will always be short on cash if they re-hire persons who cannot give you a clear description of what they do.
- Will the government allow contracts for buildings to be given out to persons who only seem to be in business for five year periods?
- Will there be a Commission of Inquiry to look into all of the money that governments past and present have paid out to construction companies? Especially those buildings that have been abandoned, unfinished or poorly constructed?
- Does the government know that based on the make-up of the Bahamian economy, the proposed VAT effort will be more of a consumptive tax that will hit those at the lower end of the economic scale hardest?
- Does it know that VAT’s are used primarily in economies that are “creating or producing” certain goods and services that can be reasonably taxed without causing adverse public reaction?
- Does it know that VAT taxes are more of an incentive to encourage business development?
- VAT taxes are not used to increase cash flow so that a Government can qualify for bigger loans.
Maybe this will not be read or even considered by those who should see it, but WTO and 2014 will be a reality regardless of what the Government does.
February 20, 2013